I am running an Eberron Campaign in the 3.5 ruleset. However, I am trying to bring in aspects of the Cthulhu mythos. I want to give my players a doctored copy of the Necronomicon, altered to be Eberron-specific. Here are some of the alterations:

  1. Instead of being written by the Mad Arab, it is written by the Mad Sahuagin.
  2. All of the locations are changing from land-based to sea-based locales.
  3. Instead of seven Zonei, I was thinking of using the twelve dragon deities, each attuned to a different moon and a different plane. Some of them are easy to figure. Others, less so.

It is part (3) that is giving me troubles. Here is what I have so far:

Plane: Daanvi, The Perfect Order
Moon: Rhaan, the Book (Small Pale Blue)
Deity: Lendys (dragon god of justice)? Hlal (symbol is an open book)?

Plane: Dal Quor, The Region of Dreams
Moon: Crya, the destroyed moon
Deity: Sardior (gem dragon god)?

Plane: Dolurrh, The Realm of the Dead
Moon: Vult, the Warding Moon (Large Grey and full of craters)
Deity: Chronepsis (god of afterlife)? Tamara (god of healing, life, and death)?

Plane: Fernia, The Sea of Fire
Moon: Aryth, the Gateway (Medium Orange-Red)
Deity: Garyx (god of fire)?

Plane: Irian, The Eternal Day
Moon: Nymm, the King (Small Pale Yellow)
Deity: Bahamut?

Plane: Kythri, The Churning Chaos
Moon: Lharvion, the Eye (Large White with Black Crevasse)
Deity: Chronepsis because his symbol is an eye, or Tiamat?

Plane: Lamannia, The Twilight Forest
Moon: Barrakas, the Lantern (Small Pale Grey)
Deity: Aasterinian or Astilabor?

Plane: Mabar, The Endless Night
Moon: Sypheros, the Shadow (Large Smoky Grey)
Deity: Faluzure

Plane: Risia, The Plain of Ice
Moon: Dravago, the Herder's Moon (Medium Pale Lavender)
Deity: Io?

Plane: Shavarath, The Battleground
Moon: Olarune, the Sentinel (Medium Pale Orange)
Deity: Tiamat? Lendys?

Plane: Syrania, The Azure Sky
Moon: Zarantyr, the Storm Moon (Large Pearly White)
Deity: Bahamut? Aasterinian?

Plane: Thelanis, The Faerie Court
Moon: Therendor, the Healer's Moon (Medium Pale Gray)
Deity: Hlal (storytelling) or Tamara (Healing)?

Plane: Xoriat, The Realm of Madness
Moon: Eyre, the Anvil (Small Silver-Gray)
Deity: Cthulhu (god of madness)? Io (god of creation)? Garyx (the insane dragon god)?

Questions: Is this a good idea? Do the dragon deities make for good astral deities? Should they be associated with the moons? Or should they instead be associated with constellations? And if they are associated with constellations, should they be associated with planes?

Any suggestions for the matches I came up with?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. StackExchange isn't a typical forum, but rather a Q&A site. Unfortunately, this seems more like a discussion prompt than an answerable question; there's no way to choose a single "best" answer, and it's very open-ended. Such idea-generation questions may be better suited to a forum. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 12 '19 at 3:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is an interesting question, but as V2Blast commented, it does not appear to be appropriate for the format of RPG.SE. A more concise question would be something like: "Are there any official sources that discuss implementing Cthulhu Mythos into Eberron or D&D in general?" Another one would be "How to generate the Cthulhu scare factor as a DM in D&D?" etc. \$\endgroup\$ – ZwiQ Sep 12 '19 at 4:40

“Lovecraftian” in Eberron immediately brings to mind the daelkyr of Xoriat; the typical approach to a game interested in those concepts would be for something to be going wrong either with the lunar seals operated by the Gatekeeper druidic circle that keeps Xoriat away from Eberron, or something wrong with the seals in Khyber that trap the daelkyr still on Eberron from the last time (which destroyed the Dhakaani Empire 10,000 years1 prior to the typical campaign start, coincidentally opening Khorvaire up to eventual human colonization2 and conquest).

For a campaign to turn all thirteen moons to proxies of the Lovecraftian mythos is to change the nature of the campaign setting a pretty good deal; I presume, then, that this is precisely what you are looking to do. That is largely not that great an issue—with the possible exceptions of Dal Quor and Dolurrh—but there is a pretty important high-level concern here: the Lovecraftian approach to horror is all about the insignificance of mortal existence, and the impossibility of knowing the real truth of the universe.3 This is a problem for two reasons:

  1. Dungeons & Dragons, as a system, is primarily interested in the epic narratives of world-saving heroes. It’s almost assumed from the get-go that they are going to save the princess/kingdom/country/world/existence-as-we-know-it. And its mechanics enable that by making the adventurers it produces capable, skilled individuals with great power—preposterous power, really, in D&D 3.5e in particular. I mean, at 17th-level, a wizard can cast “genesis,” and it does exactly what it says on the tin, and it doesn’t take anything special to do it, no special class features or preparation or anything beyond the usual rules for learning and casting a spell.

    D&D magic is phenomenally powerful, and can easily overwhelm the subtle and insidious powers generally found in the Lovecraftian mythos. It can be extremely difficult to maintain the same themes—the same horror—when your characters are eminently capable of changing the world and the very fabric of reality.

  2. Eberron, by default, knows a fair bit about magic, the moons, and so on, so the impossible mystery is both less impossible and less mysterious. And this is critical, because Eberron is all about magic-as-science, magic-as-engineering, magic-as-industry. You cannot research something, cannot design something, cannot commoditize something, unless it can be reliably and quantifiably repeated and used. Lovecraftian themes want absolutely none of that. Even though Eberron does help some by keeping the highest-level magic out of mortal hands,4 the need for reliable, predictable—D&D-like—magic to make Eberron what it is is going to cause tons of problems for Lovecraftian themes.

Anyway, as to your actual question, you have a slight problem in that there are eleven draconic gods listed in Eberron Campaign Setting, but thirteen planar moons around Eberron. Dal Quor and Xoriat are prevented from coming too close to Eberron, so maybe if those are left out... but that’s somewhat weird, since Xoriat is usually the most Lovecraftian of the moons. You could go with Dal Quor and Dolurrh, instead, which is useful since those are the moons that are most problematic to change much. Dal Quor is more significant in the history of Eberron than any other moon, which means changing it too much is just more work, and in any event the quori are already literal nightmare beasts, so they’re pretty comfortable in a the-planes-are-Lovecraftian framework.5 Dolurrh, on the other hand, is defined by its very emptiness—there is nothing in Dolurrh but gray mists and slowly disintegrating souls, and that fact is very important to the themes of Eberron overall.6

So supposing then that we leave out Dal Quor and Dolurrh, how do we map the draconic gods to the planar moons? Well, usually, they are mapped to constellations, so we’ll have to throw that out—no great loss, I don’t think the idea is mentioned again after its little sidebar on page 130 of Eberron Campaign Setting. Worse, they don’t really go in for elemental or alignment-based themes, which is how most of the planar moons are themed. Even a plane like Shavarath, which is all about battle—and includes both good and evil, law and chaos—doesn’t really have an analogue among the draconic gods. Bahamut, Falazure, Garyx, Lendys, or Tiamat could each make sense for part of that, but none of them could reasonably cover the entire thing. Io perhaps for Daanvi; knowledge and learning are often lawful in D&D. Syriana and Thelanis, being the exclusive home of angels and faeries, respectively, are particularly difficult to match up with the draconic gods. I’d probably give Thelanis to Hlal and Syriana to Bahamut, but it’s weak.

Ultimately, I don’t think the planar moons of Eberron serve your purposes all that well. I would most likely, if I was going to do this and it wasn’t just going to be all put on Xoriat, replace all of the moons wholesale. Probably with bits and pieces of each—we need there to be something with anti-gravity properties like Syriana so its manifest zone can make Sharn possible, for example. I wouldn’t want to give up the daelkyr. Dal Quor and Dolurrh, as mentioned, are pretty important to Eberron as a setting overall. So parts of those would be retained. But most of the rest of the planar moons come up rarely and are not that important. I would probably just replace them or blend them. But I would also want to think long and hard about how the world of Eberron changes when Lovecraftian themes are applied to the entire cosmology.

  1. Scales in Eberron, both spatial and temporal, are absurdly large. Realistically they should probably be considerably less than they are, possibly by as much as an order of magnitude.

  2. Humans in Eberron originate on the continent of Sarlona, far to the east of Khorvaire. They first found Khorvaire thousands of years ago, and at that point Khorvaire civilization was limited to rather small-scale enclaves and a lot of empty space for humans to fit themselves into. About a thousand years ago, a human king named Galifar ir’Wynarn conquered much of the continent, and his descendants completed that, only for further descendants still to break it up in the Last War, a hundred years ago.

  3. And racism, but I digress.

  4. Humanoids mostly top out around 12th-ish level, and even that is very, very rare. The fact that the Keeper of the Flame gets the powers of an 18th-level cleric while she is within the Cathedral at Flamekeep is a stunning display of power, for example, because the only other spellcaster even remotely that powerful in Khorvaire is the awakened greatpine druid, Oalian.

  5. I’m calling Dal Quor the most influential since the quori–giant wars directly led to the sundering of Xen’drik, the flight of the elves to Aerenal, and the creation of warforged, among other things, and then Dal Quor got involved with Eberron again more recently with the quori conquest of Sarlona.

  6. For instance, it explains the popularity of the Church of the Silver Flame and the Blood of Vol, and even more extreme cults like those to the Keeper, which suggest ways to get out of going to Dolurrh.

  • \$\begingroup\$ These are all excellent points. My plan was to use the Lords of Dust and have the Ancient Ones be Overlords. Keith Baker mentioned as much on his blog that this is a possible way to incorporate the mythos into Eberron Example, Example. Using the Dragon Deities as elder gods in opposition to the Ancient Evils that are the Overlords is not a far stretch, either. The campaign so far has already creeped out the players, so I think it is working :). \$\endgroup\$ – InterstellarProbe Sep 12 '19 at 13:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @InterstellarProbe I’ll be honest—I think much of Baker’s blog is pretty terrible. Like many creators, his ideas really need filtering and editing, in my opinion. Plus there are times where it really just seemed like he needed to put out something and the quality noticeably dips. But the demons are definitely Eberron’s ancient evils, so that fits, and the moons certainly are otherworlds. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 12 '19 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ that's fair. I actually really like much of his blog, but I agree that his ideas do need filtering and editing. I think terrible is a bit harsh, though, lol. Thank you for your input! Even though this question was not really designed for Stack Exchange, I appreciate your efforts, and I think you are right. The dragon deities do not really match the moons or planes very well. I think I will stick to the constellations. \$\endgroup\$ – InterstellarProbe Sep 12 '19 at 13:45

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